WATERVILLE — A second effort is underway to remove a city official from office.

Papers were taken out Tuesday to start a recall petition against Ward 5 Councilor John O’Donnell just one week after he was appointed to the seat temporarily and days after a recall effort was begun against Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro.

Jay Coelho, who was one of four candidates seeking the vacant Ward 5 seat, is leading the way and filed the paperwork Tuesday to recall O’Donnell, a Democrat.

Coelho, a Libertarian, said in an interview that he felt councilors didn’t listen to the will of residents when they voted to appoint O’Donnell, a veteran of the council and former chairman, despite a council chamber that was packed with supporters for a third candidate, Julian Payne.

The effort comes amid heightened political tension in Waterville. Coelho also said he was influenced by a recent movement to recall Republican Mayor Nick Isgro from office after backlash over his social media posts and a tweet criticizing the survivor of a Florida school shooting.

Isgro would not answer questions about his social media activities after a city budget meeting Tuesday night and has given no indication he plans to resign.

“This is about the people of Waterville,” he said Tuesday. “We have a nonrespondent, elitist majority on the City Council and well-monied groups like the Maine People’s Alliance who aren’t in Waterville and their friends like Karen Heck (behind this). If you look at the reality of it, the majority of people in Waterville support me and I’ve always had their back. I’m going to continue to have their back.”

The city charter states that three residents must file an affidavit with the city clerk in order to initiate the recall process. Also on the affidavit filed Tuesday are the names of residents Desiree Sirois and Benjamin Mathieu.

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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